The grin is the smug sister of the smile. When Markus Söder attested Olaf Scholz a "smurfy grin" some time ago, he was alluding to a trait of today's chancellor that is also attributed to him by well-meaning people: Scholz likes to be the brainy smurf in order to stay in Söder's style of speech.
Forward-looking is how the chancellor repeatedly describes his style of government. But what happens when forward-thinking turns into something you always wanted to know could be seen at this week's mechanical engineering summit in Berlin. There, Scholz said coram publico that he had "always been sure" that Putin would use energy supplies as a weapon.
Apparently, this knowledge did not stop him from pushing the Nord Stream 2 pipeline as Vice Chancellor of the grand coalition under Angela Merkel. And that to the end.
Incidentally, Merkel also commented on her government's energy policy decisions this week: It was "rational and understandable" to rely on Russian gas, according to the former Chancellor.
The fact that Germany's energy supply is primarily dependent on gas is due to two decisions from the Merkel years. On the one hand, the early exit from nuclear power, which was decided by Black and Yellow, and on the other hand, the end of coal power as quickly as possible, which was later decided by the grand coalition under Vice-Chancellor Scholz.
The cheap Russian gas was ultimately the compensation for a politically desired energy transition, which wanted more quickly than is realistically feasible. But Scholz will have always known that too.